Oslo Freedom Forum

Oslo Freedom Forum The Oslo Freedom Forum is an intimate gathering where remarkable individuals come together to make the world a more peaceful, prosperous, and free place.

The Oslo Freedom Forum (OFF) is a thriving global community of rights defenders, dissidents, Nobel Laureates, tech visionaries, heads of state, journalists, policymakers, entrepreneurs, authors, artists, philanthropists, photographers, filmmakers, cartoonists, musicians, scholars, and students. Each spring, they come together in Norway to tell their stories, brainstorm ideas, launch initiatives, and share an unforgettable experience of solidarity in challenging arbitrary power around the world. Since the inaugural conference in 2009, OFF has expanded beyond the annual flagship event to include satellite forums, including the College Freedom Forum—a series of one-day events at colleges and universities designed to educate and enlighten students about individual rights and democracy around the world.

Mission: THE OSLO FREEDOM FORUM SEEKS TO: - Raise human rights to the top of the world agenda - Spotlight the work of activists and innovators - Expose unfree and closed societies - Build, grow, and equip a vibrant, international community - Establish a human rights axis for journalists - Network participants with allies and supporters

Operating as usual

Happy New Year! All around the world, we're facing times of trouble and great social change. It is vital that we take th...
01/01/2021
The Art of Choosing Love | Adam Roa | 2019

Happy New Year! All around the world, we're facing times of trouble and great social change. It is vital that we take the time to pause and heal, even in the darkest moments.

Watch artist and filmmaker Adam Roa talk about how love and forgiveness can serve as mechanisms for world-healing:

All around the world, we're facing times of great social change. It is vital that we take the time to pause and heal, even in the darkest moments. Watch arti...

Mu Sochua, Cambodian human rights activist and former politician, travels the world to meet with international leaders i...
12/31/2020
FIGHTING DICTATORSHIP IN CAMBODIA | MU SOCHUA | 2018 OFF IN TAIWAN

Mu Sochua, Cambodian human rights activist and former politician, travels the world to meet with international leaders in an effort to rally action against Prime Minister Hun Sen’s dictatorship.

During her talk at the first Oslo Freedom Forum in Taiwan, Sochua presented a song she often sang on the campaign trail, calling upon the return of a legitimate Cambodia in the form of land, values, and fundamental human rights.

Mu Sochua, Cambodian human rights activist and former politician, travels the world meeting with international leaders in an effort to rally action against P...

The Burmese military has been committing genocide against Rohingya Muslims. So far, 140,000 people have been barricaded ...
12/30/2020
Burma's Broken Promise | Esther Htusan | 2019

The Burmese military has been committing genocide against Rohingya Muslims. So far, 140,000 people have been barricaded into ghettos. Despite death threats, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Esther Htusan continues to force the issue into the spotlight.

She highlighted the failings of Burma’s adherence to democracy at the 2019 Oslo Freedom Forum.

The Burmese military has been committing genocide against Rohingya Muslims. So far, 140,000 people have been barricaded into ghettos. Despite death threats, ...

For years, Daniel Ortega, Nicaragua’s dictator, has been able to abuse his people almost entirely free from the world’s ...
12/29/2020
Raising Nicaragua's Flag | Felix Maradiaga | 2019

For years, Daniel Ortega, Nicaragua’s dictator, has been able to abuse his people almost entirely free from the world’s attention. But in 2018, after the government killed hundreds, Félix Maradiaga took history’s future into his own hands. As one of the leaders of the National Unity Movement, his leadership has been instrumental in exposing Ortega’s rampant crimes.

Watch Félix at 2019's Oslo Freedom Forum as he talks about how he has rallied the world to pay attention.

For years, Daniel Ortega, Nicaragua’s dictator, has been able to abuse his people almost entirely free from the world’s attention. But in 2018, after the gov...

12/28/2020
2020 Oslo Freedom Forum

This year, we held our first-ever virtual Oslo Freedom Forum, where we brought the main stage experience directly to you -- on your computers and devices.

For two days, some of the world's most innovative human rights defenders and advocates shared their stories with our global community. The inspiring lineup presented insights and inspirational approaches to defending freedom around the world.

Missed it? You can check out our 2020 #OsloFF Youtube playlist here:

Join the Human Rights Foundation at the first-ever online edition of the world's top conference for dissidents and disruptors.

Argentinian lawyer Victoria Villaruel exposes a lesser-known part of her country’s history: the terrorism that took plac...
12/25/2020
Victoria Villarruel - Terrorism and Impunity in Argentina

Argentinian lawyer Victoria Villaruel exposes a lesser-known part of her country’s history: the terrorism that took place primarily during the 1970s. She identifies two major groups—the ERP, or People’s Revolutionary Army, and the Montoneros. These groups began their attacks during a military government, but continued them during a period of democratic rule from 1973 to 1976.

To this day, Villarruel laments, the assailants have not been brought to justice, and some even enjoy positions in the current government. Because the terrorists enjoy impunity, Villarruel explains, the youth of Argentina receive the message that “terrorism is a viable way to achieve political aims.” Until Argentina finally acknowledges and prosecutes these past acts of terrorism, she warns, the country’s youth may continue to believe in the tactic’s viability.

Watch her at the 2011 Oslo Freedom Forum here:

Victoria Villarruel speaks at Oslo Freedom Forum 2011Terrorism and Impunity in Argentina [email protected]#OsloFFIn">[email protected]#OsloFFIn her speech, Argentine lawye...

British-Russian playwright Natalia Pelevine talks about her lifelong involvement in the Russian pro-democracy movement. ...
12/24/2020
Natalia Pelevine - Protesting for Democracy

British-Russian playwright Natalia Pelevine talks about her lifelong involvement in the Russian pro-democracy movement. She explains how researching the 2002 Moscow theatre hostage crisis led her to become involved with Russian activists. She also talks about her work lobbying for the passage of the Magnitsky Act, as well as her role in exposing a number of corruption cases in Russia and organizing protests. Pelevine explains that she has chosen to move back to Russia to provide support to local activists at a crucial moment in the movement for pro-democracy.

Watch her talk at the 2012 Oslo Freedom Forum:

Audio: EnglishCaptions: ру́сский язы́кNatalia Pelevine speaks at Oslo Freedom Forum 2012Protesting for [email protected]#OsloFFPlaywri...

How can leadership be fostered among a people subjected to nearly constant violence? British conflict trauma therapist a...
12/23/2020
Justine Hardy - Healing Kashmir

How can leadership be fostered among a people subjected to nearly constant violence?

British conflict trauma therapist and journalist Justine Hardy highlights the importance of addressing the mental health of individuals in conflict-ravaged areas. She explains how sustainable positive change must come from within, from individuals who can think with clarity and take responsibility for their actions. Hardy shares her research from her time in Kashmir and describes how they have developed what she describes as a “pathology of victimhood” after experiencing violence as a part of everyday life for more than two decades. Young people in the region, who have never known peace, are especially affected, but Hardy warns that the problem is more widespread, with one psychologist estimating that 90% of the population suffers mental damage. Hardy is adamant that in order to build a healthy future for Kashmir, the problem of mental health cannot be ignored.

Watch her talk at the 2012 Oslo Freedom Forum here:

Justine Hardy speaks at San Francisco Freedom Forum 2012Healing [email protected]#SFFFJustine Hardy—the founder of Healing Kashmir, a me...

Singaporean opposition leader Chee Soon Juan argues that the economic growth of his nation was made possible by foreign ...
12/22/2020
Chee Soon Juan - Economic Sustainability of Authoritarian Systems

Singaporean opposition leader Chee Soon Juan argues that the economic growth of his nation was made possible by foreign investors who choose to invest in countries like his because the authoritarian regime limits the rights of workers in favor of businesses.

He believes that inclusive institutions such as the right to criticism and dissent are essential to sustainable progress, and that economic development cannot be separated from political and social freedoms.

Watch his talk at the 2013 Oslo Freedom Forum here:

Chee Soon Juan speaks at the Oslo Freedom Forum 2013Economic Sustainability of Authoritarian [email protected]#OsloFF

Eritrean journalist and activist Meron Estefanos relates how her homeland has become one of the most brutal dictatorship...
12/21/2020
Meron Estefanos - No Escape from Eritrea

Eritrean journalist and activist Meron Estefanos relates how her homeland has become one of the most brutal dictatorships in Africa after gaining independence from Ethiopia.

In 2001, the Eritrean government crackdown on reformers, shutting down independent newspapers and churches and creating an indefinite service requirement for the country’s youth, allowing the government to control younger generations.

But the Eritrean youth are extremely resilient, and efforts both inside and outside the country are being made to fight the dictatorship and end the fear that Eritreans endure daily.

Watch:

Meron Estefanos speaks at the Oslo Freedom Forum 2013No Escape from [email protected]#OsloFF

American activist Jamila Raqib describes her work with the Albert Einstein Institute and its founder, Gene Sharp, one of...
12/18/2020
Jamila Raqib - The Success of Nonviolent Struggle

American activist Jamila Raqib describes her work with the Albert Einstein Institute and its founder, Gene Sharp, one of the world’s foremost experts on nonviolent struggle and resistance. The non-violent resistance demonstrated by Norwegian teachers during Nazi occupation led Sharp to start cataloguing various non-violent methods for use by future movements. Since then, activists around the world have employed these methods in their own struggles.

Raqib reminds us that while non-violent methods are not easy, they are powerful and effective, and continue to improve everyday.

Jamila Raqib's speech at the 2014 Oslo Freedom Forum. See more talks like this at www.oslofreedomforum.com and follow @OsloFF for updates.

Environmental activist Marc Ona Essangui describes the brutal reality in his home country Gabon– a nation that fails to ...
12/17/2020
Marc Ona Essangui - Gabon's Endangered Activists

Environmental activist Marc Ona Essangui describes the brutal reality in his home country Gabon– a nation that fails to provide for its own citizens, despite its abundant natural resources. He maintains that this is in part due to the current monopoly of power by the ruling Bongo family, who have abused and exploited the state for decades. He also describes how the rich and powerful in Gabon engage in cannibalism and ritual murders in the belief that it will further increase their influence.

In spite of the brutal violence and repression he has witnessed, Ona continues to fight for individual rights. He highlights the successes of his environmental NGO Brainforest, which successfully lobbied against an exploitative mining project financed by a Chinese bank and showed us that resistance is possible, even in the face of overwhelming odds.

Marc Ona Essangui’s talk at the 2015 Oslo Freedom Forum. See more talks like this at oslofreedomforum.com and follow @OsloFF for updates.

British stand-up comedian, actor, and writer Tiff Stevenson brings some humor to the 2018 Oslo Freedom Forum with a come...
12/16/2020
TIFF STEVENSON | COMEDIC PERFORMANCE | 2018

British stand-up comedian, actor, and writer Tiff Stevenson brings some humor to the 2018 Oslo Freedom Forum with a comedic performance addressing reproductive rights, feminism, and the global political climate.

British stand-up comedian, actor, and writer Tiff Stevenson brings some humor to the OFF stage with a comedic performance addressing reproductive rights, fem...

Leader of democratic #Belarus and Oslo Freedom Forum speaker Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya is in The New Yorker discussing th...
12/15/2020
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya Is Overcoming Her Fears

Leader of democratic #Belarus and Oslo Freedom Forum speaker Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya is in The New Yorker discussing the challenges of addressing threats, meeting with heads of state, and keeping protests non-violent – all while in exile. https://bit.ly/3oV0yXT

“Every country has its own path to democracy,” Tsikhanouskaya, who calls herself the leader of democratic Belarus, says. “And this is ours.”

For over 40 years, Wole Soyinka has been fighting for the Nigeria he believes in. From speaking out against a succession...
12/15/2020
WOLE SOYINKA | HOW CORRUPTION CREATED BOKO HARAM | 2016

For over 40 years, Wole Soyinka has been fighting for the Nigeria he believes in. From speaking out against a succession of military dictators, to challenging Boko Haram and religious extremism, his work hasn’t stopped.

He took the stage at the 2016 Oslo Freedom Forum to discuss the importance of language in the global struggle against violent extremism.

Wole Soyinka's talk at the 2016 Oslo Freedom Forum. See more talks like this at oslofreedomforum.com and follow @OsloFF for updates.

In a country with only one government-run television station, performing artist Silvanos Mudzvova uses the power of thea...
12/14/2020
SILVANOS MUDZVOVA | 2017 HAVEL PRIZE ACCEPTANCE SPEECH

In a country with only one government-run television station, performing artist Silvanos Mudzvova uses the power of theater to give a "voice to the voiceless" in Zimbabwe. Silvanos engages in "hit and run" theater, breaking into performance on the streets and in front of government buildings to shed light on issues within the dictatorship. Despite the numerous arrests and torture he has faced at the hands of the Mugabe government, Silvanos continues to speak truth to power through his art.

Silvanos was a 2017 Václav Havel International Prize for Creative Dissent laureate and accepted his award at the Oslo Freedom Forum that year.

In a country with only one, government-run television station, performing artist Silvanos Mudzvova uses the power of theater to give a "voice to the voiceles...

Shui-Meng Ng is the wife of disappeared Laotian activist Sombath Somphone, who has not been seen since he was kidnapped ...
12/11/2020
SHUI-MENG NG | LAOS: WHERE DISSIDENTS DISAPPEAR | 2016

Shui-Meng Ng is the wife of disappeared Laotian activist Sombath Somphone, who has not been seen since he was kidnapped in December 2012. Ng, who is originally from Singapore, has CCTV video footage of the government agents taking her husband in front of a police post, but officials refuse to admit any complicity.

Sombath is an internationally acclaimed community organizer and civil society leader in Laos. Since his arrest, Ng has campaigned around the world for her husband’s release.

Watch her talk, "Laos: Where Dissidents Disappear," at the 2016 Oslo Freedom Forum.
https://buff.ly/37Axo9n

Shui-Meng Ng's talk at the 2016 Oslo Freedom Forum. See more talks like this at oslofreedomforum.com and follow @OsloFF for updates.

Taiwan’s journey from authoritarianism to democracy continues to inspire our community.Since 2018, the Human Rights Foun...
12/11/2020
Human Rights Day: Taiwan’s Democratization Gives Hope To 4.2 Billion Under Authoritarian Rule - The News Lens International Edition

Taiwan’s journey from authoritarianism to democracy continues to inspire our community.

Since 2018, the Human Rights Foundation has hosted the Asia-based Oslo Freedom Forum in Taiwan. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the third Oslo Freedom Forum in Taiwan has been postponed from 2020 to 2021.

Our latest op-ed on The News Lens International Edition shares how Taiwan's journey is a reminder that overcoming authoritarianism is not impossible.

Read here:

While Taiwan may be an example of successful democratization, the authoritarianism that its people experienced decades ago is on the rise today.

After the Cold War, democracy’s spread throughout the world seemed inevitable. And for decades that held true. But in re...
12/10/2020
Road to Freedom | Timothy Snyder | 2019

After the Cold War, democracy’s spread throughout the world seemed inevitable. And for decades that held true.

But in recent years, democracy has steadily been declining.

Watch renowned historian Timothy Snyder at the 2019 Oslo Freedom Forum talk about how democracies have become vulnerable and how people are fighting back.

After the Cold War, democracy’s spread throughout the world seemed inevitable. And for decades that held true. But in recent years, democracy has steadily be...

During the 2011 Arab Spring protests in Bahrain, Aayat Alqormozi used poetry as a form of peaceful dissent against the g...
12/09/2020
AAYAT ALQORMOZI | 2017 HAVEL PRIZE ACCEPTANCE SPEECH

During the 2011 Arab Spring protests in Bahrain, Aayat Alqormozi used poetry as a form of peaceful dissent against the government and was subsequently expelled from her university and imprisoned for her expressing her views. After her release, she went on to disclose information about torture during imprisonment and complete her bachelor's degree.

Now, she emphasizes that three things are necessary to aid people like her in Bahrain: education, creativity in peaceful protest, and international support.

Alqormozi was a 2017 Václav Havel International Prize for Creative Dissent laureate and accepted her award at the Oslo Freedom Forum.

During the 2011 Arab Spring protests in Bahrain, Aayat Alqormozi used poetry as a form of peaceful dissent against the government and was subsequently expell...

12/08/2020
The Language of Nonviolence | Felix Agbor Nkongho | 2019

In Cameroon, thousands of the minority Anglophones have peacefully protested for their rights, but the military has responded viciously.

Felix Agbor Nkongho has peacefully mobilized to bring global attention to the blood-stained crisis. He has transformed cruelty into positive, nonviolent activism.

Watch his talk, "The Language of Nonviolence," at the 2019 Oslo Freedom Forum as he discusses his work.

In Cameroon, thousands of the minority Anglophones have peacefully protested for their rights, but the military has responded viciously. Felix Agbor Nkongho ...

Censorship is a key component of the CCP’s authoritarian playbook. But as the novel coronavirus emerged at the beginning...
12/08/2020
Human Rights Foundation

Censorship is a key component of the CCP’s authoritarian playbook. But as the novel coronavirus emerged at the beginning of 2020, that same suppression of information led to devastating consequences.

In this Oslo Freedom Forum panel, New York Times technology correspondent Paul Mozur and Telegraph China correspondent Sophia Yan discuss the implications of China's surveillance state going forward.

https://bit.ly/3mZWxkh

Uniting the world to stand against tyranny.

Exiled Hong Kong pro-democracy activist & #OsloFF speaker 羅冠聰 Nathan Law shares with The Guardian - "We have to make sur...
12/07/2020
Nathan Law: 'No one knows when I can go back to Hong Kong'

Exiled Hong Kong pro-democracy activist & #OsloFF speaker 羅冠聰 Nathan Law shares with The Guardian -

"We have to make sure when people think of China they don’t think of economic growth, business opportunities - they think of concentration camps in Xinjiang, the struggle of Hong Kong, people inside mainland China jails.”

Read the piece here:

The 27-year-old activist, who was forced to flee the city by Beijing’s crackdown, is determined to continue the fight for freedom

12/04/2020
Abebe Gellaw - Outmaneuvering State Control

Abebe Gellaw is an exiled Ethiopian journalist and human rights activist. In a government crackdown on journalists and freedom of expression, Ethiopia’s high court charged him with terrorism in November 2011. Gellaw, along with four other Ethiopian journalists in exile, was charged in absentia.

Learn more about his story from his talk at the Oslo Freedom Forum here:

Abebe Gellaw speaks at Oslo Freedom Forum 2012Outmaneuvering State Control [email protected]#OsloFFExiled">[email protected]#OsloFFExiled journalist Abebe Gellaw reveals the s...

Address

350 5th Ave
New York, NY
10118

General information

OFF Senior Coordinator: Jamie Hancock +1 212 246 8486 [email protected]

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 - 18:00
Tuesday 10:00 - 18:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 18:00
Thursday 10:00 - 18:00
Friday 09:00 - 18:00

Telephone

(212) 246-8486

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Oslo Freedom Forum posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Business

Send a message to Oslo Freedom Forum:

Videos

Category

Nearby event/venues


Other Events in New York

Show All